Kyocera plans to release a new PDA (personal digital assistant) based on Java.

Initially aimed at the business market, the PDA's Java environment will mean users can use programs that are currently available only on PCs, the company said yesterday.

The Pocket Cosmo runs Personal Java 1.2 on top of the Elate operating system from Tao Group.

This will allow it to run programs written in Java faster and using less memory than other PDAs, which usually run on a Windows, Palm, or Linux operating system, according to a statement from Kyocera.

"As this is a new concept in PDAs, not many applications are available for it yet. We will start distributing the product through the corporate user channel so that companies can develop their own applications," said Takuro Takeshima for Kyocera.

The PDA can be more easily adapted for different users, i.e. consumers, because it is based on Java and the simple real-time Elate operating system, he said.

The Pocket Cosmo includes a 206MHz Intel StrongArm processor, 32MB of memory, a 3.5in colour TFT display capable of 65,536 colours and a Compact Flash card slot, which will allow wireless internet connectivity.

A business-software suite gives users access to MS Word and Excel documents as well as the ability to view all major graphics formats sent by email, it said.

The device measures 78x108x17.5mm and weighs 169g. The rechargeable battery should last around 10 hours, Kyocera said.

The company will not disclose the price of the Pocket Cosmo as it will be sold on a customised basis, but, "it will be around the same as other PDAs currently in the market", Takeshima said.